Academic journal article European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences, The

The Effectiveness of Life Skills Education with Religious Approach to Safety, Mental Health and Self-Esteem in Elementary School Students

Academic journal article European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences, The

The Effectiveness of Life Skills Education with Religious Approach to Safety, Mental Health and Self-Esteem in Elementary School Students

Article excerpt

1.Introduction

The ever-increasing social changes and complexities and the expansion of social relations makes it necessary to prepare people to face difficult situations. To prevent psychological diseases and social dysfunctions, psychologists have engaged in life s kills training throughout the world and in school. Life skills are the capabilities that pave the way for positive and useful behavior, and these capabilities enable the person to assume his /her s ocial res pons ibilities , and cope with daily problems and interpers onal relations without hurting himself/herself and the others (Karimzadeh, et al, 2009).

What has been known today as life skills is not only the product of contemporary researchers, but many of these s kills can be found in divine teachings of the Quran and the s ayings of Prophet Mohammad and Imams . The importance of life s kills training becomes clear when we know that life s kills training improve ps ychologicalsocial capabilities. These capabilities help a person to cope effectively with conflicts and life situations and help him/her to act positively and in agreement with other people in the society, the social culture and the environment and promote mental health. As such, practicing life skills leads to reinforcement and change of attitudes, values and behaviors (Naseri, 2005). Therefore, helping children in developing and expanding necessary life skills seems necessary (Shoarinejad, 1992).

One of the preventive programs which has been noticed worldwide is teaching life skills to children. To improve mental health and to prevent psychological and social problems, World Health Organization prepared a program named "life skills training" which was conducted by UNICEF in 1993. Since then, this program has been studied in many countries. Different studies which were conducted after the implementation of life skills training programs in s chools point to its impact on mental health and compatibility. Generally, life s kills training and social skills training have the following positive impacts: Positive social behaviors on schools (positive social interactions between coworkers); promoting problem solving capabilities; reducing anger, depression, diffidence and criminal behaviors; developing inner control; social acceptability; confronting crisis; promoting courage; positive self-concept; appropriate social verbal and nonverbal skills (Naseri, 2005).

Research shows that life skills training promotes children's and adolescents' mental health in different ways and are one of the most fundamental preventive programs at the primary level. Health is the main part of a happy life, and schools have an important role in informing children and adolescents about hygiene and health issues and teaching life s kills to them.

Studies conducted after the implementation of life skills program in schools demonstrate their impact on different dimensions of mental health such as significant reduction of social anxiety (Botvin & Eng, 1982), improvement in self-concept (Kreuter, 1991), and improvement in self-esteem (Enet, 1994). Many other studies s how improvement in children's self-confidence, improvement in teacher-student relations, reduction in s chool absenteeism, and reduction in misbehavior (Aniskeiwich & Wysong, 1990).

Haghighi et al. (2006) demonstrated that life skills training improves mental health and self-esteem of female students. Samari and Lalifaz (2005) demonstrated that life skills training improves mental health (family stress and social acceptability) of the participants. A research by Barlow et al. (1998) showed that life skills improves self- esteem, decision-making capability and resistance against peer pressure for drug use in schools, and is an effective program with important consequences in the health of children and adolescents (Vardi, 2004).

2.Research Hypotheses:

The research hypotheses are:

1. Family life skills training improves students' mental health. …

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